April 14, 2024

JOLT (2021) – Formulaic actioner that still manages to work!

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Kate Beckinsale plays a woman who gets into a murderous rage whenever she gets mad like a female hulk but without morphing into a giant green monster. Her remedy is to jolt herself with a handy trigger that sends an electric shock to her body through a network of wires attached. Her first attempt at finding romance and seeking normality somehow leads her to all sorts of dangerous liaisons which naturally means she will need to demonstrate her powers regularly.

The plot sounds silly and it is. However, Jolt is made very much tongue in cheek so the silliness is more acceptable. Despite the familiarity of the plot and stereotypical characters, Jolt is surprisingly a good fun watch that knows enough not to overstay its welcome with a tight 90 minutes runtime. Kate Beckinsale looks stunningly beautiful here and I almost think she has grown younger! Her cool and calm British accent also lends an odd air of conflict to the chaos that normally follows her everywhere. It is also refreshing that her character is not some sort of spy or crime fighter, and her mix up with the criminal world is merely coincidental. Of course the film just could not resist the need to put on some silly teaser at the end to leave it open for a franchise but my personal feeling is that the producers should just leave a good thing alone, and not milk it further by basically making the same movie over and over again under the pretext of it being sequels. The film is directed by a woman director, Tanya Wexler who has had more experience directing TV series than movies. However judging from Jolt, Tanya seems right at home with the action comedy genre.

Apart from the customary fight scenes, Jolt benefits from a very witty script. The humour is infectious and comes on fast and wicked. The supporting cast has some juicy characters to play like Stanley Tucci as Kate’s psychologist, and the transgender actress Laverne Cox as a doubting detective. There are numerous side characters who make their presence felt in their small scenes, thanks to some clever writing and characterisation.

Jolt is feather weight entertainment and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as you are entertained and makes the viewers smile or laugh along the way.

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